Tag Archive for Kleinberg

Kleinberg’s Book Argues for a Deconstructive Approach to the Practice, Writing of History

Ethan Kleinberg, director of the Center for the Humanities, is the author of Haunting History: For a Deconstructive Approach to the Past, published by Stanford University Press in August 2017.

“Haunting History is about the ways we think about the past and ‘do’ history at a moment when the digital revolution is changing how we conduct research, store materials, and even write,” Kleinberg said. “In it I argue that many of strategies for writing about, but also understanding the past, are conditioned by the analog practices of the previous century which has served to create the illusion that the past can be studied like an object held in your hand or placed under a microscope.”

The past — by definition — is gone and thus has no definite properties or perhaps we can say that is has latent properties that are activated when we do history, Kleinberg explained. “But this activation of the past is always partial leaving remains that are hidden or dormant. This is a past that is absent but haunts us and can return in ways that disturb our conventional historical narratives and understanding of what the past and history is.”

To account for this play of absence and presence, Kleinberg advocate for a “hauntological” approach to the past.

Kleinberg’s Essay the Featured Reading Material for Modern Intellectual History Webinar

Ethan Kleinberg

Ethan Kleinberg

An essay by Ethan Kleinberg, professor of history, professor of letters, is the featured reading material for the H-France network’s fall 2015 webinar on “Modern Intellectual History.” H-France’s mission is to promote scholarly work and discussion on the history and culture of the Francophone world through digital form.

Kleinberg also is director of the Center for the Humanities and executive editor of History and Theory.

The H-France webinar will take place at 3 p.m. Sept. 18. Designed particularly for graduate students, H-France webinars are open to anyone. Participants are expected to read Kleinberg’s essay prior to the seminar and consider related questions.

History Faculty Participate in American Historical Association Meeting

Screen shot 2015-01-06 at 12.52.34 PMFour faculty from the History Department participated in the American Historical Association Meeting in New York City Jan. 2-5. The topic was “History and Other Disciplines.”

Professor of History Ethan Kleinberg presented “Just the Facts: The Fantasy of a Historical Science.” Kleinberg also is the director of the Center for the Humanities, professor of letters and executive editor of History and Theory.

Assistant Professor of History Victoria Smolkin-Rothrock spoke on “From a Society Free of Religion to Freedom of Conscience: How Toleration Emerged from within Totalitarianism.” She also is assistant professor of Russian, Eastern European and Eurasian studies and tutor in the College of Social Studies.

Professor of History Magda Teter spoke on roundtable panel on “Jewish History/General History: Rethinking the Divide.” Teter also is the Jeremy Zwelling Professor of Jewish Studies, professor of medieval studies and chair of the History Department.

Associate Professor of History Jennifer Tucker was a commentator on a panel titled “The Photographic Event,” which reexamined the question of an “event” by looking at various visual technologies and texts, whether sketches, paintings or films. Tucker also is associate professor of environmental studies, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, associate professor of science in society and a faculty fellow in the College of the Environment.

Kleinberg Delivers Keynote Address, Leads Workshops at Literature Conference in India

Ethan Kleinberg

Ethan Kleinberg

On Dec. 4, Ethan Kleinberg, director of the Center for the Humanities, professor of history, professor of letters, presented the keynote address at a conference on “Does Literature Matter,” at the University of North Bengal in India.  His talk was titled “Matters of Fact and Matters of Fiction: Literature and the Historian.” He also led a workshop on “presence” at the conference.

Kleinberg also will be presenting lectures and workshops in Delhi including a talk at University of Delhi on Dec. 10, a workshop at the Center for the Study of Developing Societies on Dec. 11, and a lecture on “History and Theory in a Global Frame” at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library later that day.

Kleinberg Edits Book on 21st Century Philosophy, Cultural Theory

Book edited by Ethan Kleinberg

Book edited by Ethan Kleinberg.

Ethan Kleinberg, director of the Center for the Humanities, is the co-editor of Presence: Philosophy, History, and Cultural Theory for the Twenty-First Century, published by Cornell University Press  in November 2013. Kleinberg also is professor of history, professor of letters and executive editor of History and Theory.

In this book, Kleinberg and co-editor Ranjan Ghosh bring together an interdisciplinary group of contributors to explore the possibilities and limitations of presence from a variety of perspectives—history, sociology, literature, cultural theory, media studies, photography, memory and political theory. The book features critical engagements with the presence paradigm within intellectual history, literary criticism, and the philosophy of history. In three original case studies, presence illuminates the relationships among photography, the past, memory and the “other.”

Kleinberg’s Article in American Historical Association Publication

An article by Ethan Kleinberg, director of the Center for the Humanities, professor of history, professor of letters, is featured in the 50th anniversary issue of Perspectives on History, the monthly publication of the American Historical Association. The article, titled “Academic Journals in the Digital Era”  is part of a forum on “The Future of the Discipline” edited by Lynn Hunt. View the full list of contributors online.

Wesleyan and China: the Beijing Conference

Wesleyan faculty in China.

In China, rapid economic growth and social transformation have stimulated interest there in how societies have dealt with dramatic change. Some of China’s foremost scholars reached out to colleagues at Wesleyan, seeking to discuss the meaning of “tradition” in historical and philosophical perspectives.

“Wesleyan publishes History and Theory, the leading journal on the philosophy and theory of history in the Western world,” says Brian Fay, professor of philosophy, and the journal’s executive editor. “This subject area is intellectually and politically very important in China, and hence the journal was well known to them.”

It was in part because of History and Theory that a delegation from the Social Sciences in China Press, the publishing arm of the Chinese Academy of the Social Sciences, visited Wesleyan in 2010. Fay, his co-editors of History and Theory, and President Roth spent much of a day with the delegation discussing opportunities for scholarly interaction. The result was a commitment to two conferences, one in China and a second in 2013 at Wesleyan.

Five weeks ago the first conference was convened in Beijing, with five Wesleyan scholars traveling to the city to discuss the concept of tradition: Stephen Angle, professor of philosophy, professor of East Asian Studies; Ethan Kleinberg, professor of history, professor of letters; Philip Pomper, William Armstrong Professor of History, Emeritus; Wesleyan President Michael Roth, university professor, who specializes in intellectual history; and Joseph Rouse, Hedding Professor of Moral Science, chair and professor, science in society, professor of philosophy. Five other western scholars also traveled to the conference to make presentations.

The event’s host, Professor Gao Xiang,

Kleinberg to Serve as Center for Humanities Director

Ethan Kleinberg

Ethan Kleinberg, professor of history and letters, will serve as the next director of the Center for Humanities (CHUM), beginning July 1, 2012.

Rob Rosenthal, provost, vice president for Academic Affairs, John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology, made the announcement in Novemeber.

Kleinberg has served Wesleyan as director of the College of Letters and director of the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Paris. He is currently associate editor of History & Theory and will be assuming the role of executive editor in the coming year.

Kleinberg’s wide-ranging scholarly work spans across the fields of history, philosophy, comparative literature and religion. His current research interests include European intellectual history, critical theory, educational structures, post-colonialism and the philosophy of history. He is the author of Generation Existential: Martin Heidegger’s Philosophy in France, 1927-61, which was awarded the 2006 Morris D. Forkosch prize for the best book in intellectual history, by the Journal of the History of Ideas. Kleinberg is presently in the process of completing his second book, The Myth of Emmanuel Levinas, on the Talmudic Lectures the French-Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas presented in Paris between 1960 and 1990, as well as an edited volume comprised of interdisciplinary scholarship on the theme of “Presence.”

While Director of COL, Kleinberg’s research into the origins of Wesleyan’s 1959 “College Plan” led him to author a piece on the challenges facing interdisciplinary programs and departments in the 21st century,

Kleinberg Lectures at International Conference

During the Fall 2010 semester, Ethan Kleinberg delivered two lectures in France.

Ethan Kleinberg, associate professor of history, associate professor of letters is spending the year as director of the Vassar-Wesleyan Paris Program and an invited scholar at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. During the Fall 2010 semester, Kleinberg delivered two lectures based on his current book project, The Myth of Emmanuel Levinas. Levinas is a French Jewish philosopher who turned to the use of Jewish